Beneficial / Probiotic Bacteria
Beneficial microorganisms have a long history, especially bacteria known as probiotics.
Thus, beneficial bacteria have existed and co-evolved throughout the history of mankind, providing benefits to the health of the hosts in which they inhabit.
The beneficial bacteria are mainly of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera, and are characterized by providing benefits to their hosts by creating a microbiome (microscopic environment at the intestinal level) favorable for their development and limiting for the development of pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. ., which are responsible for causing acute diarrheal disease.
Benefits and mechanisms of action
Various beneficial effects are known, among which the protection against pathogens and the immunomodulatory effect stand out, but with the progress of studies in this field every day more are known and it has been described how they work, for example, the suppression of microorganisms. pathogens is due to the fact that probiotic bacteria produce antimicrobial substances among which are hydrogen peroxide, diacetyl, reuterin, organic acids such as lactic acid and acetic acid; Some species of bacteria also produce substances of a protein nature known as bacteriocins.
They also have the ability to lower serum cholesterol by inhibiting its synthesis and reducing low-density lipoproteins, preventing their absorption in the small intestine; Another benefit is that they favor the absorption of nutrients since probiotics promote the “balance” of the microbiota (diversity of microbial species in the intestine), helping the processing of non-digestible sugars, complex protein metabolism, vitamin synthesis and energy production. . When certain sugars (oligosaccharides), which serve as food for these bacteria, are administered in the diet, they stimulate the absorption of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, this effect being greater in the rapid growth phase when the demand for calcium is high.
The immunomodulatory effect of the microbiota and probiotics consists of the modulation of the function of dendritic cells type 1 (CD1) that induce Th1 effector cells, regulatory T cells and the activation of NK cells, all of them responsible for the immune response in the intestine, that is to say that they are the defense cells against diseases.
Recently, research on the effects of these bacteria has been expanded and based on scientific studies it has been discovered that these bacteria are capable of influencing the behavior of the host in different areas such as learning, anxiety states and eating behaviors.
As for lactobacilli, bacteria with digestive properties, they are normally located in our digestive, urinary and genital systems. They can also be obtained with the intake of foods such as yogurt and dietary supplements. Its benefits are multiple: treatment and prevention of diarrhea or general digestion problems, irritable bowel syndrome, baby colic and Crohn’s disease. In turn, they help reduce colon inflammation and ulcers. They also act on other types of infections, and for the prevention of respiratory problems. All this without forgetting some disorders related to the skin: allergic dermatitis, hives, herpes or acne.
In conclusion, there are currently several studies worldwide that confirm its benefits and hundreds of commercial products that contain probiotics, there are even probiotic-based food supplements for human and animal consumption that, as we mentioned, can change the microbiome and microbiota by offering health benefits.
However, we must be aware that each type of bacteria has specific properties and that although the beneficial effects they provide have been scientifically proven, each bacterium acts at different levels and to a lesser or greater degree, so it is important to consult a specialist to advise us on the correct form of administration.